Diagnostic errors and temporal stability in bipolar disorder
The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is frequently modified during the course of the illness.
Diagnostic changes and associated errors are described for 1,153 patients diagnosed as bipolar disorder, aged over 18 years and with at least ten follow-up visits. Data was extracted from a clinical registry of out-patient care specialized in Psychiatry and psychiatric hospitalizations of 25,152 patients representative of an urban area of 240,000 inhabitants. Limit for diagnostic stability was established as the maintenance of the bipolar disorder diagnosis in at least 75% of the visits.
A total of 158 (46.1 %) out of 342 patients diagnosed as having a bipolar disorders in the first visit kept this diagnostic constant in subsequent evaluations. Infradiagnostic initial error was committed with 108 stable patients who were not diagnosed in the first visit. 184 patients diagnosed in the first visit with bipolar disorder had less than 75 % concordant diagnosis along the follow-up and could be considered as initial overdiagnosis. Two hundred and nine out of the 443 patients who were diagnosed as bipolar disorder in their last visit did not keep stability criteria in their follow-up and could be considered therefore as final overdiagnosis. Thirty two stable patients not diagnosed in their last visit could be considered as infradiagnosis final error. Diagnosis from schizophrenia spectrum (F2) appears in one of every four psychiatric visits of the patients included in this study. Overlap was seen in three other categories: anxiety disorders (F4), personality disorders (F6) and substance abuse disorders.
Initial course of bipolar disorder causes difficulties in the diagnosis.
Available from: Sidney H Kennedy
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ABSTRACT: The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) published guidelines for the management of bipolar disorder in 2005, with a 2007 update. This second update, in conjunction with the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD), reviews new evidence and is designed to be used in conjunction with the previous publications. The recommendations for the management of acute mania remain mostly unchanged. Lithium, valproate, and several atypical antipsychotics continue to be first-line treatments for acute mania. Tamoxifen is now suggested as a third-line augmentation option. The combination of olanzapine and carbamazepine is not recommended. For the management of bipolar depression, lithium, lamotrigine, and quetiapine monotherapy, olanzapine plus selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and lithium or divalproex plus SSRI/bupropion remain first-line options. New data support the use of adjunctive modafinil as a second-line option, but also indicate that aripiprazole should not be used as monotherapy for bipolar depression. Lithium, lamotrigine, valproate, and olanzapine continue to be first-line options for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. New data support the use of quetiapine monotherapy and adjunctive therapy for the prevention of manic and depressive events, aripiprazole monotherapy for the prevention of manic events, and risperidone long-acting injection monotherapy and adjunctive therapy, and adjunctive ziprasidone for the prevention of mood events. Bipolar II disorder is frequently overlooked in treatment guidelines, but has an important clinical impact on patients' lives. This update provides an expanded look at bipolar II disorder.
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ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder shows a distinct phenomenology, confirmed by its persistence through history and cultures, its patterns of inheritance, and its clear disturbance of physiologic function. Last decades have seen an enlargement of the concept of bipolar disorder and a significant increase of its importance. However, the correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder is a problematic issue for several reasons. First, the onset of bipolar disorder is frequently treacherous presenting a confusing picture for both clinician and patient. As a matter of fact, treatment for bipolar disorder has been estimated to start up to 10 years after onset. Patients often seek help only when depressive symptoms appear, thus being diagnosed with major depression and causing the delay. Manic or hypomanic symptoms are not less often confused with substance abuse or psychotic disorders. Secondly, some longitudinal studies have shown a low stability of bipolar disorder diagnosis along its evolution, mainly due to diagnostic changes with schizophrenia. Misdiagnosis is therefore a common problem and it is also a major factor leading to a poor outcome. It frequently complicates attempts at effective management of bipolar disorder and also plays a major role in the economic burden of the illness. These problems emphasize the need in the clinical field for the adoption of a longitudinal perspective, opposite to the more frequently used transversal evaluation, and the importance of relying on multiple sources of information to prevent errors in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In this chapter we will review the literature on diagnostic errors and stability of bipolar disorder diagnosis. Reported sources of misdiagnosis will also be listed. In summary, we aim to provide a clear picture of the longitudinal evolution of bipolar disorder and the existing caveats for its accurate assessment, which ensures proper treatment and a better outcome for the patients.
Available from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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ABSTRACT: Objective To describe the prevalence of patients who screen positive for symptoms of bipolar disorder in primary care practice using the validated Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ). Design Prevalence survey. Setting Fifty-four primary care practices across Canada. Participants Adult patients presenting to their primary care practitioners for any cause and reporting, during the course of their visits, current or previous symptoms of depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Main outcome measures Subjects were screened for symptoms suggestive of bipolar disorder using the MDQ. Health-related quality of life, functional impairment, and work productivity were evaluated using the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey and Sheehan Disability Scale. Results A total of 1416 patients were approached to participate in this study, and 1304 completed the survey. Of these, 27.9% screened positive for symptoms of bipolar disorder. All 13 items of the MDQ were significantly associated with screening positive for bipolar disorder (P < .05). Patients screening positive were significantly more likely to report depression, anxiety, substance use, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, family history of bipolar disorder, or suicide attempts than patients screening negative were (P < .001). Health-related quality of life, work or school productivity, and social and family functioning were all significantly worse in patients who screened positive (P < .001). Conclusion This prevalence survey suggests that more than a quarter of patients presenting to primary care with past or current psychiatric indices are at risk of bipolar disorder. Patients exhibiting a cluster of these symptoms should be further questioned on family history of bipolar disorder and suicide attempts, and selectively screened for symptoms suggestive of bipolar disorder using the quick and high-yielding MDQ.
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